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Topic # 151110 14-Aug-2014 10:44
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In preparation for a hyper-connected smartphone future, Vodafone has today activated three separate 4G spectrum bands – 2600MHz, 1800MHz, and 700MHz – on a cell site in Northcote, creating three times the capacity of a single spectrum site – a first for New Zealand.

On the same site, Vodafone has launched next generation Carrier Aggregation technology, combining spectrum from 1800MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands to further boost its performance, speed and capacity.

The company says mobile data traffic is expected to grow by 1200% in the next three years, with 90% of its customers expected to have a smartphone by 2015.

Vodafone Director of Technology, Sandra Pickering, says Tri-Band Carrier Aggregation is an important investment to future-proof the network.

“We’re forecasting 4G mobile data traffic to grow by as much as 1200 percent in the next three years alone, so increased speed and capacity are vital for mobile operators to continue to deliver a consistently high-quality network experience.

“With Tri-Band 4G on a site, multiple users will be able to employ in excess of 350Mbps throughput capacity – the total capacity available at any given time – while our Carrier Aggregation of 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands will deliver speeds in excess of 250Mbps to a single user.

“The combined capacity created by using three spectrum bands caters for different device types to provide the optimum customer experience.”

Sandra continues: “4G will eventually become the primary mobile technology, and the true measure of our network success will be 4G with lower latency, and faster upload and download speeds. This can only be achieved with more efficient use of spectrum, which is exactly what we’ve done at Northcote. It’s all about continuing to be the network smartphones are made for.”

In May, Vodafone launched Dual-Band 4G at a single site in Auckland’s CBD in response to customers’ rapid adoption of the 4G service, becoming the first in New Zealand to use more than one spectrum band on a single cell site.

Vodafone’s Tri Band and Carrier Aggregation site is the first urban use of 700MHz in New Zealand, which delivers greater reach than other frequencies, and good in-building coverage.

Vodafone expects to have Carrier Aggregation devices commercially available on its network by the end of this year, or early 2015.




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  Reply # 1108221 14-Aug-2014 11:17
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I reckon I'd be fine with 1Mbps on my phone, and I can't think of anything in the next few years that would change that. Latency is important, but bandwidth not so much. Who watches 1080p on their phone or downloads large updates? A few people sure, but what do most people need?

Good to have the facility I guess, but most people don't need and won't use it. Better off making the service cheaper.




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  Reply # 1108228 14-Aug-2014 11:24
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I think you need to keep in mind that its a shared resource. When a cell is congested you will not get anywhere near these speeds. What it does mean is, the bigger the pie they are serving up from that site, the larger your potential slice of that pie when it is under load. The fact that you can do high speed for a single user on an unloaded site is mainly useful for marketing purposes.

Every upgrade like this should be applauded and suggesting that its not needed generally shows a lack of understanding of how mobile networks operate in the real world.

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  Reply # 1108235 14-Aug-2014 11:34
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timmmay: I reckon I'd be fine with 1Mbps on my phone, and I can't think of anything in the next few years that would change that. Latency is important, but bandwidth not so much. Who watches 1080p on their phone or downloads large updates? A few people sure, but what do most people need?

Good to have the facility I guess, but most people don't need and won't use it. Better off making the service cheaper.


You.re just looking at it from a point of smartphone user, but there's another side of mobile broadband users - home owners/farmers with crappy ADSL connection with frustrating buffering/long-time-waits for gmail to load, etc...

These people need better/faster broadband/4G now for a reasonable price, and preferably unlimited :)

I would not mind watching a movie online while camping around northland too for a cheap-reasonable price.




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  Reply # 1108618 14-Aug-2014 19:17
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So, does anyone else think it'll be pointless to get 350Mbps when it costs $50 for a 3GB block?




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  Reply # 1108620 14-Aug-2014 19:27
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I've said for many years that latency and connection stability is far more important to me than raw speed.

Data caps are still (relatively) tiny, and until I can get 50GB+ a month on my mobile for under $100, my use cases aren't going to change to require the additional speed over what even 3G can deliver me.




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  Reply # 1108621 14-Aug-2014 19:29
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What handsets currently on the market can take full advantage of this?




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  Reply # 1108622 14-Aug-2014 19:42
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unlimited data is wishful thinking.  the spectrum is limited and unlimited is just not feasible.

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  Reply # 1108623 14-Aug-2014 19:43
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Inphinity: What handsets currently on the market can take full advantage of this?


"Vodafone expects to have Carrier Aggregation devices commercially available on its network by the end of this year, or early 2015."

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  Reply # 1108643 14-Aug-2014 20:34
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nathan:
Inphinity: What handsets currently on the market can take full advantage of this?


"Vodafone expects to have Carrier Aggregation devices commercially available on its network by the end of this year, or early 2015."

The HTC M8 takes advantage of accessing any of the 3 bands in use; just no CA on this device.
Vodafone have already had a few LTE 700 sites live in South Auckland for over a month now. I believe I have connected to these sites.





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  Reply # 1108658 14-Aug-2014 20:37
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coffeebaron:
nathan:
Inphinity: What handsets currently on the market can take full advantage of this?


"Vodafone expects to have Carrier Aggregation devices commercially available on its network by the end of this year, or early 2015."

The HTC M8 takes advantage of accessing any of the 3 bands in use; just no CA on this device.
Vodafone have already had a few LTE 700 sites live in South Auckland for over a month now. I believe I have connected to these sites.



Great, thanks :)




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  Reply # 1108767 15-Aug-2014 03:07
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charsleysa: So, does anyone else think it'll be pointless to get 350Mbps when it costs $50 for a 3GB block?


No. Wireless or mobile will ultimately always cost more than fixed line, purely because wireless is a finite resource.

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  Reply # 1108769 15-Aug-2014 03:35
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sbiddle:
charsleysa: So, does anyone else think it'll be pointless to get 350Mbps when it costs $50 for a 3GB block?


No. Wireless or mobile will ultimately always cost more than fixed line, purely because wireless is a finite resource.


Isn't that more of a reason not to give people faster speeds since more speed requires more wireless bandwidth?

Also all known transmission mediums are finite, we just keep improving how we use them to for transmission.




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  Reply # 1108795 15-Aug-2014 08:30
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charsleysa:
sbiddle:
charsleysa: So, does anyone else think it'll be pointless to get 350Mbps when it costs $50 for a 3GB block?


No. Wireless or mobile will ultimately always cost more than fixed line, purely because wireless is a finite resource.


Isn't that more of a reason not to give people faster speeds since more speed requires more wireless bandwidth?

Also all known transmission mediums are finite, we just keep improving how we use them to for transmission.

No, how many news articles have then been over the last couple of years of mobile data grinding to a halt in busy places? And that's with current "low" data caps. More speed also equals more simultaneous connections without the network grinding to a halt.




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
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  Reply # 1109029 15-Aug-2014 13:32
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coffeebaron:
charsleysa:
sbiddle:
charsleysa: So, does anyone else think it'll be pointless to get 350Mbps when it costs $50 for a 3GB block?


No. Wireless or mobile will ultimately always cost more than fixed line, purely because wireless is a finite resource.


Isn't that more of a reason not to give people faster speeds since more speed requires more wireless bandwidth?

Also all known transmission mediums are finite, we just keep improving how we use them to for transmission.

No, how many news articles have then been over the last couple of years of mobile data grinding to a halt in busy places? And that's with current "low" data caps. More speed also equals more simultaneous connections without the network grinding to a halt.


I think we may be on a different page here, I was talking about the speed an individual person would get not the maximum throughput of a cell site. The maximum throughput can be increased without needing to increase an individual's speed, especially since it'll be a lot easier to blow through 3GB with 350Mbps.




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  Reply # 1109034 15-Aug-2014 13:47
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Something I don't ever see mentioned, is that faster speeds mean people get things done faster and free up connections sooner (until demand increases again).

I'd compare it to the difference between chip EFTPOS machines on dialup and broadband. The dialup ones are much slower, and so can process far fewer customers per hour.

I may totally misunderstand how these things work.




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